|"Flow" / pastel / 9x7|
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
|"Denver St. at Dusk" / pastel / 9x12|
Friday, February 7, 2014
|"Portland Fog" / pastel / 7x9|
|Emily Carr, Western Forest, 1931|
Emily Carr (1871-1945), an iconic Canadian artist and writer, was heavily inspired by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Early work had aboriginal themes especially when she was living and painting on the Queen Charlotte Islands and Skeena River where she documented the Haida, Gitxsan and Tsimshian people. Later she focused on landscapes, especially forests. She was one of the first Canadian artists to adopt a modernist and post-impressionistic style. Carr also wrote six books, three of them published posthumously. As far as I know, she was never married or had children. I laughed when I read this in Wikipedia: "Carr took a teaching position in Vancouver at the 'Ladies Art Club' that she held for no longer than a month--she was unpopular amongst her students due to her rude behavior of smoking and cursing at them cursing at in class, and the students began to boycott her courses." Although she didn't receive much recognition (or respect) during her lifetime, she is now considered a national treasure. Emily Carr University of Art and Design, is located in Vancouver, BC. She who laughs last, laughs best?
|Joan Eardley, Boy on a Stool|
Joan Eardley (1921-1963), born in Sussex to dairy farmers, had a challenging childhood that included her father's post-WWI mental breakdown and ultimate suicide. Placed in the care of a grandmother, her aunt paid for her education at a private school where Eardley's artistic talent was first recognized. Thank goodness. She ultimately moved to Glasgow, Scotland. Her friend Annette Stephen bought her a cottage in the village of Aberdeenshire and that became her home base. Eardley's figurative work often includes text (calls to mind Basquait) and is mostly based on everyday life, often the gritty life of the working class. Poor city children at play and children being cared for by an elder sibling are frequent themes. She loved to work outdoors, often in poor weather, and is best known for bleak and desolate landscapes, including powerful and stormy seascapes. One scholar said she painted the sea "with the perception of a mariner." Other landscapes of fields on sunny days may appear tranquil on the surface but I think they simultaneously reveal an underlying tension that the weather could change at any moment. She died relatively young of breast cancer that had spread to her brain, for which she did not seek treatment.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
|"Yellow Reflections (on the road to Evora)"/pastel/9x7|
Robert Genn's "The Story of Yellow" discusses the five main sources of yellow pigment. I recalled learning about one of those--cow urine (ever heard of Indian Yellow? Yep!)--while touring India a few years ago. Genn publishes an informative Twice-Weekly Letter and his website, The Painter's Keys, is a goldmine of info for artists.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
|Bato Dugarzhapov, my Pinterest discovery|
Pinterest is a photo-sharing website that allows users to create online theme-based bulletin boards of images they find interesting. Images on Pinterest come from the internet, blogs, or any other source that's available online. I have boards dedicated to various categories of art (landscape, interior, still life, etc.); self-portraits; artists' studios, workspaces and materials; and many other topics (including lots of non-art-related subjects). Although it's possible to keep your boards private, the educational value of Pinterest comes from seeing what other people post. I often find pinners whose taste and interests overlap with mine and use the results of their research to expand my own investigations. I'm frequently introduced to artists I would never have otherwise known about. (I'll write more about this later.)
|Bato Dugarzhapov: The Winter Linden|
Obviously Pinterest is no substitute for going to museums and galleries. But when time and expense are constraints, it's a good substitute. I'm convinced that my time in the studio is enhanced by what I'm learning on Pinterest, and I also recognize that it can be a way to procrastinate and avoid getting into my studio and making my own art. Like everything else, Pinterest is used intentionally and in balance with other activities.